Fuel Strike – 2012 – Don’t Panic Buy

by The British Asian Blog

Here we go again.  

Are we making matters worse by misunderstanding the situation?

Back in 2000, I remember when entire England’s road network, businesses and services came to a standstill.  The roads were empty and most business suffered to the point of bankruptcy due to fuel shortages.  The fuel shortage occurred due to lorry drivers, truckers and farmers blocking fuel depots so fuel could not come in or leave the depot.

Back then, it was the first time I witnessed people ‘panic buying’.  As a friend of mine worked at a service station near to my home – which was known as ‘Jet Service Station’ and I recall the cars queuing for hours in the bid to get some fuel.  I was asked to help along with few other friends guard this service station as some people tried all sort to either obtain fuel, abuse the rationing of fuel per car or tried jumping queues – it wasn’t a nice experience.

12 years on, I’d hoped the government by now, would have learnt important lessons and understood the seriousness of a similar situation occurring again – especially at a time when the economy has stalled and no sign of growth – but the incompetence of this coalition government has made matters worse.

Despite cock-ups by the ministers in recent days advising people to fill up jerry cans and store them in their homes, the general public have made matters worse.  By jumping to false conclusions and listening to rumours have gone ahead and started to ‘panic buy’ fuel which has led to more people joining them and has started to cause chaos around the country.

Let’s get some things straight here:

1.  The fuel truck drivers (or whatever their official name is) have not set a date for a strike.
2.  The Unions and Government are doing everything to prevent this strike from happening.
3.  As a precaution the Army have been trained to deliver fuel, should a strike go ahead.
4.  Do not panic and buy fuel, but buy fuel as you normally would.
5.  Don’t spread rumours which you have heard.
6.  Do not fill up Jerry cans and or store filled cans in your homes – it’s illegal and dangerous.

The government have done no favours in guiding the wider public and in fact they have made matters worse, and I can’t help thinking whether this was intentional to inject fear across the nation and add pressure on those who intend to strike in accepting the terms proposed by their employers or Unions.

Either way, the only way we can make matters worse is to panic buy, when there is no guarantee that the strike will go ahead.  Besides, the government cannot ‘economically’ afford to allow this fuel strike to go ahead, consider the economical crisis we are already in, bringing a standstill to the road network and services, including millions of businesses that will suffer will simply collapse the UK economy overnight – as it almost did back in year 2000.